Whitehouse’s Season Ends Against Port Arthur Memorial, 66-43
HOUSTON -- With less than a minute remaining, Brent Kelley cleared the bench.
It's something is typically reserved for blowouts, as was the case in the 5A Region III regional semifinal game between Whitehouse and Port Arthur Memorial. Depending what side you're on, it can be a joyous or a bleak affair.
Whitehouse dealt with the latter Friday.
The players fought, Brandon Bullard coming down with an offensive board to get to the free throw line. Jake Clemons pulling down a rebound before him. Their effort would do little more than prolong the inevitable hanging of heads and teary eyes as Whitehouse fell, 66-43.
"To beat people in the regional tournament, good teams, you've got to bring your A-game," Kelley said. "We didn't do that. We did Tuesday, but tonight we just didn't play well. They had a lot to do with it."
Although the first quarter remained close for a while, the Titans (31-5) just needed a spark off the bench to create some distance.
Memorial held a 10-8 lead when Jyson Butler checked into the game with a little more than a couple of minutes to go. Butler promptly nailed a 3-pointer, then another and finally a third as time expired. He single-handedly fueled a 9-0 run to end the quarter, putting Whitehouse (28-7) down by double digits.
The Wildcats started off the second quarter strong, with McKade Marquis nailing a 3-pointer. Whitehouse would bring it as close as within six, but another run near the end of the quarter would doom them again as they headed into halftime down, 38-24.
Jamyus Jones hit two 3-pointers to start the third and the rout was on. Javier Neal, who finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, hit a couple of late 3-pointers for Whitehouse in the fourth, but the damage had already been done.
Memorial hit nine 3-pointers and forced 16 Whitehouse turnovers.
"They're physical," Kelley said. "They're tough. They get their hands on loose balls and cause deflections and turnovers. The biggest thing was they made 3s. If they shoot the ball well, they're tough. When (Jones and Butler) are making 3s, they're gonna be tough to beat."
Butler led all scorers with 17 points, while Jones added 11 for the Titans. Thailand Wesley had 16 points and Nathan Clover finished with nine rebounds.
Jackson Mahomes also added 15 points for Whitehouse to go with six rebounds.
It is a bitter end to an otherwise memorable season. Whitehouse graduates four of its five starters, as well as six more bench players. Although the present is gloomy, Kelley said he hopes one day his players can look back on this season and see the impact they left.
"Tonight can't damper the season that we had," he said. "We won 28 games, went undefeated in district, made it to the regional tournament. The feeling they had Tuesday night is the feeling they need to remember, not the feeling they had tonight."